As well as working closely with industry and support organisations, SIR has an extensive academic network and participates in multiple research projects focused on advancing knowledge and innovation in remanufacturing and circular economy. Details of some of these projects are outlined below.
Remanufacture: A Strategy to Enable Affordable Quality Healthcare in Developing Countries (2018-2022), Royal Society
Quality medical equipment is critical for health-related development but is lacking in Developing Nations: 80% of the global medical equipment supply is used in Developed Countries comprising 20% of the world’s population. Funded by the Royal Society, this research explores the application of remanufacture as solution to this issue. Building on Strathclyde’s remanufacture research, the expertise of Ibadan University, Nigeria in transferring new environmentally-friendly technologies to Nigeria and medical equipment remanufacture best practice this research will explore how to implement remanufacture of complex medical equipment within Nigeria.
FiberEUse – Large scale demonstration of new circular economy value-chains based on the reuse of end-of-life fiber reinforced composites (2017 – 2021), EU Horizon 2020
Dr Ijomah and Professor Windmill from the SIR team are collaborating with 20 partners from 7 EU countries on a €9.8 million research project funded by the European Union to support industry in the transition to a circular economy model for composites.
Glass and carbon fibre reinforced polymer composites (GFRP and CFRP) are increasingly used as structural materials in many manufacturing sectors like transport, constructions and energy due to their better lightweight and corrosion resistance compared to metals. Composite reuse is a challenging task and landfilling of end of life composites is widespread. FiberEUse will create a large scale demonstration of new circular economy value-chains based on the reuse of end-of-life fibre reinforced composites and will include trials with Scottish manufacturing companies.
AIMaReM – Autonomous Inspection in Manufacturing & Remanufacturing (2016-2020), EPSRC
Inspection is a critical remanufacturing activity but is expensive, slow and often error prone. Improvement in inspection technology will therefore enhance remanufacture competitiveness. This project provides a unique combination of data collection, processing and visualisation tools combined with efficient robot path planning and obstacle avoidance, with a focus on manufacturing inspection (NDE and surface form metrology). The project will allow faster integrated inspection and parts handling, thus saving time, and reducing costs whilst enhancing quality and throughput.
iNEED – Including Non-destructive Evaluation in Engineered Design (2016 – 2021), EPSRC
This project aims to enable design engineers to optimise the design of a given component such that they maximise their ability thereafter to test this component non-destructively for the presence of any flaws. Thus flaw-detectability will used as an additional design criterion. This will also help in remanufacturing as we will be more able to assess the integrity of used components. In this way we will improve society by having safer aircraft, nuclear plants and oil pipelines, improve the environment by having fewer wasted components and using less energy, and improve the UK economy by developing the UK’s expertise in these high value sectors.
The European Remanufacturing Network (ERN) – coordinating and supporting European remanufacturers (2015-2017), EU Horizon 2020
The project combined the expertise of seven EU Universities and research organisation in improving existing remanufacturing operations and encouraging new remanufacturing businesses. The project aim was to bring together remanufacturing organisations from across the entire value chain to share knowledge and establish a collaborative network that will continue to thrive beyond the timeframe of the project. The project led to the establishment of the European Remanufacturing Council, CER (Conseil Européen de Remanufacture), the focal point for remanufacturing policy dialogue in Europe.
ReCoVeR – Regenerated Composite Value Reinforcement (2011-2015), EPSRC
The project aimed to enable cost-effective regeneration of the mechanical properties of glass fibres which have been produced from thermal recycling of glass reinforced structural composites (such as wind turbine blades). The key impacts include reducing landfill disposal and CO2 release into the atmosphere plus increase in raw materials reuse.
GREENet – Globally Recoverable & Eco-friendly E-equipment Network with Distributed Information Service Management (2011-2015), EU FP7
The establishment of closer international cooperation to share and develop research on globally sustainable Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) management is a critical global need. This project teamed up multi-disciplinary research teams from the EU and China (4 European Universities and 4 Chinese Universities/Research Institute) to synchronise their research in order to propose integrated technical solutions for global WEEE management. Outputs include ICT (Information and Communication Technologies)-based strategies, solutions and standards to address the multi-faceted requirements of WEEE management.